Starting out for honey

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by crazy8days, Jan 23, 2012.

  1. crazy8days

    crazy8days New Member

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    I see on many websites starter kits which sell only the brood box? For my first year I would like to harvest what honey I can. Should I buy a super to go with this? 2 supers?
     
  2. Indiana Dave

    Indiana Dave New Member

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    You should really not expect to harvest any honey your first year considering that your hives will be new and will have to draw out comb on your foundation (or lack thereof) before they can start filling it. It would probably be best to let the bees keep what they make the first year and then plan on harvesting the second year from that hive. This is a general rule, as I am sure there are exceptions.
    I personally would have another deep and at least 1 medium on hand just in case. You will most likely use the deep and if they are a strong hive, you will need the medium as well.
    Good luck! :)
     

  3. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    This is only my opinion. You will likely get many others.

    I recommend 2 hives the first year. You then have one to compare to the other and one to save the other if a problem comes up.

    Starter kits will contain some things you won't use, plus lack some things you want. Start with 2 bottom boards, 4 deeps, 2 supers, which you may not use the first year, 2 inner and 2 outer covers. 2 packages or nucs

    One veil or hooded jacket, 2 hive tools, "you will lose one", and a smoker.

    You need to order the bees NOW!! The suppliers are starting to run out already.
     
  4. Hog Wild

    Hog Wild New Member

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    When I started out Iddee gave me the same advice which I followed and he could not have been more on point, especially regarding the starter kits. Locate and secure your bee purchase now if you have not already done so. You can get woodenware at your convenience, I always keep extra.
     
  5. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Iddee said:

    2 hive tools, "you will lose one"

    :mrgreen: :thumbsup: :mrgreen:
     
  6. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    Now is the time when you could make the decision to run all medium boxes. This has a big advantage in not straining your back so much to move brood boxes, and also you don't need to worry about mediums or deeps- all your boxes are the same. There are various pros and cons to that setup, but you should read about them now before you order.
    I think if I had it to do over, I'd have started out a couple years ago on all mediums myself. Just a thought!
     
  7. crazy8days

    crazy8days New Member

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    I'm only going to start with one hive. I have a small yard with neighbors. I'm looking for a place close to my area if needed. Now, if I order bees now when do I pick them up? I was told June was the time to start in my area. Thanks!
     
  8. Hog Wild

    Hog Wild New Member

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    It all depends on when your supplier has them available; the first scheduled date from my supplier here in NC is March 18th. June seems a little late to me but your supplier should be able to give you an accurate target date.
     
  9. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    I don't know the size of your yard, but I have never seen a place where it was good for one hive, but not two or three. Most small areas are good up to four hives, then trouble begins with the fifth one. A little camo may be in order. Make them inconspicuous. They don't have to be white.
    Fences make good neighbors.

    I would ask for delivery by the first half of May, preferably in April.
     
  10. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    If i was going for honey the first year, (not very likely) your best chance would be to go with a Nuc. Some of our new club members have got a few frames of honey the first year by starting with nuc's, but your weather will have a lot to do with that. If you do go with a nuc, be sure to order the type that will fit your operation (deep frames or med. frames in the nuc) if you don't get the right one it makes things harder to cope with. Just my two cents worth. Jack
     
  11. crazy8days

    crazy8days New Member

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    Why not one? My back yard is roughly 70'X70'. Third of it is taken up by garden and a 16'X12' shed. I have a small strip of trees behind fence. Where I am thinking about putting my hive(s) is in the corner of my shed and fence. So, really only need cover fence on two sides to get path of fight up and also work as a cover up. Both neighbors are hardly out during the summer months. But, I'm out in the backyard ALL the time. So is the dog. After the post that I need to get my bees now I'm starting to panic. Emails are flying to people in this area that has bees. Need to know where to get them!
     
  12. crazy8days

    crazy8days New Member

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    Friend of mine has extra boxes that they said I can use. But, how do I give them back if I continue to raise my bees? :confused: If I have to start all from ground up. I'll just buy the bees. If I get boxes then will be looking in a nuc. Seems like time is running out.
     
  13. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    Don't quite understand (if i get boxes then will be looking in a nuc. seems like time is running out. :confused: ) Did you mean ,looking for a nuc? In my area a nuc is only $15.00 to $20.00 more than a package of bees and the jump start is worth it. As for giving the boxes back, he might sell them to you, or after your bees get established you can buy new boxes a transfer your bees into them, then return them. Yes time is getting short for finding nuc's but i've always found them if i look hard enough. Good luck. Jack
     
  14. crazy8days

    crazy8days New Member

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    yes, looking for nucs. Do I need to find them in my general area?
     
  15. sqkcrk

    sqkcrk New Member

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    Which is where? Indiana is a big place to be from. Please change your "Location:" to include a Town, Village or City name. Thank you.

    Welcome to the Forum.
     
  16. Zulu

    Zulu Member

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    Crazy8 , firstly Welcome to our friendly home.

    Look on Craigslist in your region, .... find the local Bee Club, .... ask the Agricultural Extension service , lastly find if you have a local Bee inspector..... all are sources of info on what to get, plus where to get bees.

    As Iddee said , beginners kits sell a bunch of stuff you may never use again......buy carefully and only what you need immediately. Do lots of reading and research before you commit.

    As for Honey in first year.... might get real lucky with a pkg or Nuc, but most probably what they make they will need, and you will end up feeding them most of this first year.

    If you have to have Honey, then buy a going hive, look for local beekeepers who might be willing to sell a whole hive, but expect to pay upwards of $250 for the privilege.

    BUT sometimes you can get lucky and someone is downsizing in your local region, ..... be helpful, enthusiastic, friendly around the local Beeks and you might get lucky.

    Good luck.
     
  17. crazy8days

    crazy8days New Member

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    Lafayette, indiana
     
  18. sqkcrk

    sqkcrk New Member

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    Thanks crazy8. Were we face to face I might have said "The whole state?"

    I hope someone close to Lafayette will chime in and help you out. Best of luck.
     
  19. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    You can easily fit two full hives on a patch of ground that is 3x5 feet.

    If you have two hives you can tell if one of them is not acting normal- helps you learn twice as fast.
    With two hives, you can alternate 'checking on' them and thus not have to disturb and open your hive nearly as often.
    If one is weak you can borrow bees or frames of brood or food from the other hive and save it.
    If something happens to the queen in one, you can keep giving them frames with fresh eggs from the other hive until they successfully make a new queen from them.
    People are losing an average of 30% of their hives each winter these days- do you really want to have to scramble to order expensive new bees every Spring that your single hive dies? If you have one survivor you can split it and get back to two very quickly in the Spring.

    Many things can go wrong with a first hive- and there is nothing like having a second hive to help save the other one!
     
  20. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    You sound as if you think the bees need to be out of the way. NOT SO. If it is clear in front of the hive, the rear can be right at the walkway. Many keep bees on their patio. Also, two hives 3 feet apart will cause no more problem than one hive. I have had as many as thirty hives within 100 feet of my front door and never had an accidental sting to anyone.